After months of arguing, Democrats and Republicans appear close to brokering a budget deal which would allow them to raise the Federal debt limit. Unfortunately, details of the plan aren't good. One of the byproducts of the new budget being considered is that senior citizens could once again be hit in the pocketbook with little or no cost of living increase in their social security checks. According to the Monterey Herald, President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner wanted to "come up with something big" for reducing $2 trillion to $4 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. White House officials have said one way to do so would be to use a different measure of inflation than the one which we currently use to calculate increases in monthly Social Security payments. This could produce savings of close to $112 billion using the new "Chained Consumer Price Index" (CCPI). Or, thought of in reverse, could cost seniors $112 billion (The CCPI assumes that people will switch to cheaper goods, so for example, if the price of beef goes up and pork goes down, the CCPI assumes people will stop eating beef and switch to pork so there will be a reduction in prices instead of an increase). After two straight years with no increase, and with it now appearing likely that there will be little to no increase this year in Social Security payments, this certainly adds insult to injury. Haven't seniors been punished enough this year by budget cuts? The proposal is a complete reversal for President Obama who had pledged to target tax increases for the wealthy and now is reportedly considering using the CCPI widely for government benefits which means seniors, veterans and government workers would all be adversely affected, not exactly the super-rich that President Obama was previously targeting. According to The Wall Street Journal, Medicare and Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) are now under consideration for cuts as well as introducing means testing, whereby different levels of Social Security benefits would be paid based on a person's financial status. The paper said that liberal Democrats are furious that President Obama has opened the door to make significant changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, while many Republicans are resistant to proposed tax increases now on the table. A deal is anything but set in stone but if it looks anything like what's being reported in the media, it won't be good for seniors. That's very sad. At Family inHome Caregiving, we see seniors on a day-to-day basis which are struggling to make ends meet. Social services programs like Adult Day Care have been cut, it's difficult to find Doctors that will take the puny payments that Medicare offers, and to make things worse there are bills going through the state legislature which could dramatically increase the cost of providing caregivers to seniors (particularly on a 24-hour basis), which would force us to raise rates. It certainly doesn't look like politicians are looking after the interests of our burgeoning senior citizen population.
http://www.montereyherald.com/news/ci_18435397 About Richard Kuehn & Family inHome Caregiving of Monterey:
After more than a decade of caregiving, both in a professional environment and for a 97 year old family member I was dissatisfied with service from local caregiving agencies. I became convinced of the need for a service which provides very personal assistance to the elderly and founded Family inHome Caregiving serving the Monterey Peninsula. Please visit my blog where I talk about important senior issues at:
About Richard Kuehn & Family inHome Caregiving of Monterey: